Building Health and Wellness Programs That Everyone Can Join

Health and wellness programs are always a great idea, but not everyone at your office has the same physical capabilities. When you give everyone a Fitbit and offer a prize to the person who walks the most steps, you’re inadvertently discriminating against people who aren’t in good physical condition or who have physical disabilities. If the prize is significant or can be considered income, it might even violate theAmericans with Disabilities Act.

So how do you implement a health and wellness program that everyone can participate in? Here are some ideas.


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4 thoughts on “Building Health and Wellness Programs That Everyone Can Join

  1. I sincerely appreciate this approach. Our workplace encourages wellness by having the on-site nurse send out frequent emails on various health topics, sponsoring an (on-the-clock) Weight Watchers group, having a “biggest [weight] loser contest, sponsoring various sports (softball, etc.) teams and fielding teams in local fitness and charity walks, 5Ks, etc., providing flu and pneumonia shots, having an on-site blood-pressure machine and scale in a break area, encouraging lunch-hour walking groups, etc. Everyone starts at their own unique place — in terms of wellness — and everyone should be encouraged to live as healthily as possible.

  2. We are a small company of 17 people. We started our first Wellness Benefit last year. It is very simple. We will reimburse up to $100 per year for the registration costs for fitness events and activities. This way each employee can choose the activity they want to do.

  3. The new Capitol Hill Kaiser Premanente center makes it really hard to find the stairs and then use them – some are security so you end up having to go back to the lobby.

    They then have the helpful suggestion on their monitors to use the stairs more … . Sounds like the architect isn’t on the same page.

  4. Employer requires response to health questionnaire accessed through a third-party portal in order to access approximately $600/year of added income. Employees are assured this is HIPPA compliant. Required questions for females include: are you pregnant? height and weight to calculate BMI, Do you have fair skin? Do you have blue, green or hazel eyes, Have you had blood pressure check within last 2 years, etc. Other questions to which answers are not required include: Do you take at least an 81mg dose of aspirin every day? Have you had a tubal ligation? Did you have your first menstrual cycle younger than 15 years old? etc. And, if you accidentally answer a non required question, the survey does not allow you to unmark it. A significant number of employees have indicated the questionnaire is intrusive and have decided to forego the additional $600/year. Comments?

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